Anchorage removes homeless camps

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) More than 50 homeless camp sites have been cleaned up by Anchorage police, government officials and community leaders.

Homeless camps are a danger to the public and the people who live in them, said Anchorage Police Patrol Captain Audie Holloway.

The state Department of Corrections had a crew out Monday cutting trees and chipping brush in woods off the Glenn Highway near Clark Middle School.

With a burn ban in effect, homeless camps are a big concern for the Anchorage Fire Department, said spokesman Tom Kempton.

Dewayne Harris, director of the Brother Francis Shelter, said he has mixed feelings about the effort.

He agreed that there are fire, safety and health concerns. But he said the city ought to consider creating a safer place for homeless people to camp perhaps a year-round campground within walking distance to downtown, where so many of resources for homeless people are located, including day-labor jobs.

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